The Hutton inquiry

The Whites of their Lies

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A whitewash has rarely been so misjudged as Hutton‘s.

I find there are few things quite as enjoyable as watching a smug, arrogant bully having the smile wiped from his or her face. Imagine then the pleasure I‘ve had seeing a collection of smug, arrogant bullies watch in amazement as their apparent hour of vindication was greeted with indignation, disbelief and downright hostility by all but their most ardent supporters.

For that has been the tale of the shower of New Labour cabinet ministers and spin doctors, ever since the establishment lackey Hutton produced his repo... er, whitewash.

The Hutton Report: Did Everyone Say 'Whitewash'?

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The Hutton inquiry cut into the government, exposing the messy lies and distortions underneath Blair's Iraq claims. The Hutton report puts a nice big judicial bandage over that cut.

Temporarily rejuvenated, Blair parades his Hutton-issue certificate of honesty, augmented by the BBC's 'unreserved' apology. Under the bandage the wound rapidly festers.

Hutton Inquiry: Indecent Exposure

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Was Alastair Campbell responsible for the government's deliberate lies about Iraq's 'Weapons of Mass Destruction'? The Hutton inquiry evidence suggests not.

Instead the e-mails and memos show the whole government machine was behind the 'sexing up' of Saddam's threat. Campbell is there, but so too are Jonathan Powell, John Scarlett, Godric Smith and a host of press officers, all obsessively worried about the drafts and ever more melodramatic redrafts of the government's dossier. The initials 'TB' recur, showing the prime minister's close involvement in the propaganda programme and subsequent squeeze on Dr Kelly.

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